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Development Center to Enhance Evidence-Based Supported Employment with a Technology-Based Management System

Funding Source

U.S. Department of Human Services, National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR)

Project Period

10/1/12 - 9/30/17

Principal Investigator

Sarah Lord, PhD

Other Project Staff

Jennifer Carroll, MPH; Stephanie Lewia, BA; Chris Burns, MFA; Haiyi Xie, PhD

Project Summary

Evidence-Based Supported Employment is firmly established as a team-based community mental health intervention to help people with serious mental illness obtain and maintain competitive employment and succeed in work. Despite a strong evidence-base as demonstrated in over 20 randomized controlled trials, the reach has been limited. Technology is key to expanding access to evidence-based care in a landscape of contracting financial resources.

Developed by the Center for Supported Employment Technology, based at the Center for Technology and Behavioral Health, the Supported Employment Management System (SEMS) is an online, mobile-enabled digital care management system designed to enhance delivery of evidence-based supported employment services.

A hallmark of the project has been an iterative design, development, and implementation evaluation process that has involved consumer clients and supported employment stakeholders from four community mental health agencies across the country. Clients and provider stakeholders have provided input and feedback at each stage of development and testing. The system has been evaluated in two implementation studies and studies of other system components are being planned.

The SEMS platform includes:
• A motivational enhancement program to build client awareness about supported employment and promote client linkage to supported employment services
• An integrated client management system with tools to support development of individualized client career profiles, promote creation and implementation of job plans, and document and share job development activities
• Dashboard, data collection, and reporting features to facilitate measurement-based care, as well as supervision and administrative reporting requirements

Public Health Relevance

The SEMS represents a model for how technology can be successfully used to facilitate implementation of evidence-based treatment. The applicability of the SEMS platform extends to other community-based service delivery areas, including Assertive Community Treatment, Supported Education, Supported Housing, and team-based care management more broadly. The platform components can be easily adapted to include other evidence-based practices to support client outcomes and facilitate care delivery. Efforts are currently underway for such adaptations.